New England Revolution
1996: On April 13th, the Revolution played the first match in team history and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Mutiny in Tampa. Two weeks later, the Revs were welcomed to New England and won their first game in Foxboro with a 2-1 shootout win over DC United. The Revolution’s stars included Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns, Welton, and leading scorer, Joe-Max Moore. Despite a solid season, the Revolution would miss out on the playoffs with a record of 15-17, becoming the first Eastern Conference team to not qualify for the postseason. Frank Stapleton would resign as coach after just one season.
1997: To replace Stapleton, the Revs turned to Thomas Rongen to help guide them into the postseason. A significant acquisition for the Revolution during Rongen’s tenure was Italian World Cup star goalkeeper Walter Zenga. His performances were a big help to the Revolution as they once again finished the year with a record of 15-17, qualifying for the playoffs on the last week with a last-minute win over the Dallas Burn. Their playoff run was very brief, however, as they were swept by eventual champion DC United.
1998: Coming off their first playoff appearance, the Revs acquired Raul Diaz Arce, and their fans hoped it would help catapult the team to the next level. But the Revolution would suffer through a tough season and finish in the MLS cellar with a record of 11-21. In the middle of the season, Thomas Rongen walked out as coach, and goalkeeper Walter Zenga became the first player/coach in MLS history.
1999: Under Walter Zenga, the Revs would fare no better and, although in the playoff hunt until the final weekend, struggle mightily with a record of 12-20. Zenga would be relieved of his coaching and playing duties, and former Liverpool star Steve Nicol replaced him for the final two games. To make matters worse, the Revs star Joe-Max Moore was allocated to Everton in England.
2000: In February, the Revolution hired former US player and Uruguayan native Fernando Clavijo to guide the team. At the start, the Revs would play well and even lead the Eastern Conference briefly before faltering during the summer. But the team would pick it up again near the end and finish with their first .500 record of 13-13-6. In the playoffs as the 7th seed, the Revs would win their first-ever playoff game before falling to the Chicago Fire in three games, 6 points to 3.
2001: Expectations were high in New England for the Revolution after their first playoff win. But the Revs started horribly, losing their first six matches and never really recovered, finishing with an embarrassing record of 7-14-6 in their final season at Foxboro Stadium.
2002: In January, the Revolution added vital players from the dispersal draft, including goalkeeper Adin Brown and the team had even higher expectations than the year before. Even the addition of rookie Taylor Twellman seemed to give the Revs a big boost. The team would suffer their traditional out-of-the-gate slump. On May 11th, the Revolution played their first game at CMGI Field, which was later renamed Gillette Stadium, blanking the Dallas Burn 2-0 on two Twellman goals. The team would go through a tough summer and seemed to be well on their way to another disappointing season. But during a mid-August game at Chicago, the Revolution trailed 1-0 and came back to win 2-1 on a last-minute goal by Daouda Kante. That seemed to turn the Revs’ season upside-down as they would not lose a game the rest of the way, finishing with a record of 12-14-2 and winning the Eastern Conference regular-season championship. In the playoffs as the 2nd seed, the Revs would snatch their first-ever playoff series win from the Chicago Fire in three games six points to three. In the next round, the Columbus Crew would give the Revs a bit of a challenge in the third game before the team wearing red, white, and blue would prevail, winning the series five points to two and qualify for their first-ever MLS Cup.
2002 MLS Cup: As if their hot streak wasn’t enough, the Revolution were to play their first MLS Cup at home in Gillette Stadium in front of a record-shattering 61,316 fans. The match featured the Revs, the newcomers, against the Los Angeles Galaxy, who had been this far three times before, losing each one. The game would be lackluster, as the Revs would not manage a shot on goal until the final minute of regulation, whereas the Galaxy had five shots on goal until then. For the second straight year, MLS Cup would be decided in overtime as regulation ended scoreless. The Galaxy had the best of the scoring chances, and again, the Revolution was dormant. But as the game reached a second overtime, an MLS Cup first, substitute Winston Griffiths came extremely close to winning the trophy for the Revs as his shot from outside the box bounced off two Galaxy defenders and then hit the crossbar. A minute after that, the Galaxy counterattacked, and a one-timer by LA’s Carlos Ruiz snuck by Revs ‘keeper Adin Brown to give the Galaxy their first championship and send the huge hometown crowd home heartbroken.
2003: The sting of the MLS Cup loss would make the Revolution determined to make another run for the championship. In the offseason, the Revs brought back Joe-Max Moore, and experts started to rely on the Revs. Things looked good for them as they sat in second place in the East at the end of June. But they would suffer a downfall as they would not win a game in July and won their first game in the summer on the last weekend of August. From the last week of September on, the Revs would put together a similar run from the previous year, winning five straight to end the season and finish above .500 for the first time at 12-9-9. In the playoffs, the Revolution would outscore the MetroStars in the aggregate goal series 3-1. In the conference final, it would be the same, sad ending for the Revs as they fell 1-0 to the Chicago Fire on a 111th-minute goal by Chris Armas.
2004: Once again, the Revolution would struggle at the beginning of the season. Things would go from bad to worse for the Revs when ‘keeper Adin Brown went down with an injury, and Matt Reis took his place. Brown was not the only player bitten by the injury bug, as between May and July, the Revolution would lose over 200 man-games to injury, including Taylor Twellman. Reis filled in well and earned the starting nod for the season. As September rolled around, the Revs would go through a roller-coaster ride. Needing a win in the last game at home against the Chicago Fire, the Revs were able to get the job done, winning 2-1 and clinch the final playoff spot with a record of 8-13-9, which would typically put a team in the basement. The Revs were not given much of a chance against the best team in the league, the Columbus Crew. The Revolution would shut the Crew out in the first game 1-0 and stun the Crew in the next game with a tie, 1-1, thanks to Matt Reis stopping two penalty kicks. In the conference final for the 3rd year in a row, the Revs and DC United would battle back and forth before overtime was needed with the two teams square at 3-3. Two overtime periods went by without a score. In the penalty kick shootout, the Revs would wind up one game shy of MLS Cup again as they were outshot in the session 4-3.
2005: Right from the start, the Revolution made it crystal clear they would not be the same team that would start a season slow and finished strong. After battling back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the Earthquakes in San Jose on opening night, the Revs went on a tear, winning games with late goals and the goalkeeping of Matt Reis. Reis would hold a shutout streak for over a month. The trio of Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan, and Clint Dempsey added to the Revs’ potency. By the end of the season, the Revs would clinch the top seed, finishing with a solid record of 17-7-8, and their 59 points set an Eastern Conference record. Against the MetroStars in the first round of the playoffs, the Revs lost the first game 1-0, and when it was 2-0 on aggregate in the second game, their season appeared to be over. But with the game being played in a snowfall, the Revolution would show their resiliency as they had all season, scoring three unanswered goals to advance the conference final for the fourth year in a row. At home against the Chicago Fire, Clint Dempsey scored an early goal, and the Revs sat back. A late spurt by the Fire in the last 10 minutes had them hanging on for dear life to their lead. It looked for a moment like the Fire would get to them after Gonzalo Segares put the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time, but the offside flag was up, and the Revs breathed a sigh of relief, proceeding to run the clock out to advance to their second MLS Cup in four years.
2005 MLS Cup: At brand-spanking-new Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, the Revs had retaliation on their minds against the Los Angeles Galaxy, the team that beat them for the Cup three years earlier. Just like that game, this one would be lackluster. The Revs would only get two shots on goal in regulation, and the Galaxy’s defense stiffened. In overtime, it would be played the same way until the last minute of the first OT period when LA’s “other” Guatemalan, Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez, who had scored only one goal the entire regular season, scored off a rebound. The strain of a long, heroic season took its toll on the Revs as they were unable to equalize. In almost a total carbon copy of the 2002 MLS Cup, LA hung on to win the trophy and keep the bitter taste of a championship loss to the Galaxy in the Revs’ mouth.
2006: Some acts are hard to follow, and the Revolution showed that this was the case with them. Unable to match their hot start to the previous year, the Revs limped out of the gate while also dealing with injuries. Just when hope for a successful season seemed lost, the team went on a tear, finishing the regular year with a 5-0-1 stretch to finish with a second-place record of 12-8-12. After allowing the Chicago Fire to score first in their playoff series, the team fought back to tie the series t6he next week. In the penalty shootout, the Revs would outlast Chicago, 4-2, advancing to a fifth straight conference championship game. Against DC United at Washington, Taylor Twellman scored a goal early, and the team’s defense did what they had to do, shutting out United and setting up a New England-Houston MLS Cup.
2006 MLS Cup: For the second year in a row, the Revs traveled to Pizza Hut Park for their third MLS Cup in five seasons. Their opponents this time were the Houston Dynamo, and the Revolution was confident about coming out on top this time. Although the Revolution had better scoring chances, the Revs and their opponent again played a scoreless regulation. Many objective soccer viewers sighed as if to say, “We’ve been here before.” After no one scored in the first OT period, Taylor Twellman took a shot past Pat Onstad that rolled into the corner of the net, sending the New England supporters into a frenzy. With seven minutes to play, the Revs finally seemed to have a championship. But then, they would commit the Cardinal Sin: they took a mental break as Brian Ching immediately scored the equalizer for Houston. After the rest of overtime went scoreless, the first penalty shootout in MLS Cup history would commence. After going back and forth, Pat Noonan’s shot missed. In the sudden death portion, Jay Heaps’ shot was saved, winning the title for the Dynamo and leaving the Revs feeling disconsolate again following another long, draining championship game. Following the ridiculously painful defeat, Clint Dempsey was transferred to Fulham in a move that was not surprising but rubbed salt in the wound.
2007: Rookies Wells Thompson and Adam Cristman led a small youth movement for the Revolution, still in search of their first title. In addition, team chemistry was primarily kept intact as not too many roster moves were made to the team. As usual, Taylor Twellman proved he belongs among the greatest American soccer players as he found the net many times throughout the year, and he got a lot of help from his youth movement and old veterans. They have played with him for many years. Michael Parkhurst continued to make a name for himself with his stellar defense and scored a goal on a midfield shot in the season finale at Toronto FC. The Revs fought for first place in the East for much of the season but fell short of that, finishing with a record of 14-8-8, good for second place. A notable event was the claiming of the US Open Cup on October 3rd for their first major championship, proving they were not the bridesmaid of US soccer. In the MLS Playoffs, the Revs were locked in a defensive battle with the New York Red Bulls without scoring in the first game. In the second game in a rainstorm at home, Twellman scored a goal midway through the second half, propelling the Revolution to the conference championship game for a sixth straight time. Against the Chicago Fire at home, Twellman showed his acrobatics, scoring a highlight-reel bicycle kick goal for the only score of the game. Once again, the Revs were Eastern Conference Champions, beating the Fire in the playoffs a third straight season.
2007 MLS Cup: Already 0-3 in MLS Cup, the Revolution wanted no part of comparisons to the Buffalo Bills. To avoid this, they would attempt revenge on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch from 2006. At RFK Stadium in Washington, the Revs seemed to play with a lot more spunk early on, and it was rewarded when the scorching Taylor Twellman scored his third goal of the playoffs, heading in a cross from Steve Ralston at 20 minutes. This snapped a regulation scoreless streak for the team in the MLS Cup of 290 minutes. Despite just a one-goal lead, the Revs seemed to go into a defensive shell. That would prove to cost them dearly in the 61st minute when after a series of miscues in the box, the Dynamo’s Joseph Ngwenya pounced on a loose ball and snuck it by Matt Reis into the goal. The goal clearly would shake the Revs’ confidence as their fans seemed to say, “Oh no, here we go again.” Then in minute 74, a cross from Brad Davis found the head of Dwayne De Rosario and rolled into the goal for a 2-1 Houston lead. A late flurry, including a header off a corner by Jeff Larentowicz, was denied, and the Dynamo held on for another championship at the expense of the Revs. They seemed to be terminally snake-bitten in MLS Cup.
2008: After two straight heartbreaking losses in the MLS Cup Final, the Revolutions hoped that 2008 would finally be the season they took the title home. The season saw many bumpy moments, but none bumpier than on a plane out to Los Angeles to face Chivas USA in the 2008 SuperLiga tournament, as members of the Revs staff needed to subdue an unruly passenger who had undressed and was attempting to open the plane’s emergency exit during the flight. The Revs would win the SuperLiga tournament while finishing third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 12-11-7. In the playoffs, the Revolution faced the Chicago Fire, and saw a 0-0 tie in the playoff opener, turning Game 2 into one game for it all showdown. However, the Revs would be blanked again, as the Fire won the aggregate series with a 3-0 win.
2009: With an influx of young talent replacing core players bound for Europe, the Revs would have a difficult time adjusting as they had an inconsistent start to the year as they would endure a six-match winless streak. The summer would bring better results to the Revs, using a three-game win streak and a win in their last game to make the playoffs with a record of 11-10-9. Their stay in the postseason would be brief as the Chicago Fire defeated them 3-2 on aggregate.
2010: Departures of the veterans continued, including Taylor Twellman, who struggled with post-concussion symptoms for well over a year. Despite starting the season off well, the Revs would have trouble keeping up with the rest of the pack, alternating wins and losses all year and finishing in sixth place with a record of 9-15-5, missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
2011: Continuing a downward spiral, the Revolution slumped terribly, winning only three of their first 19 games and struggled to put the ball in the net all season. This would cause the Revs to finish in last place in the East with a record of 5-16-13, with their five losses spread out over the year. At the end of the season, Steve Nicol, coach of the Revs since 2002, was let go and replaced by Jay Heaps.
2012: In their first season under Jay Heaps as coach, the Revolution went through a season of transition with rookie Kelyn Rowe as well as Saer Sene and Lee Nyguen leading the way. After starting the season 2-2, the Revs went into a tailspin during the summer, including a ten-game winless streak that effectively ended any postseason chances. At season’s end, the Revs sat in ninth place with a 9-17-8 record.
2013: In year two under Jay Heaps, the Revs’ roster formed chemistry that was lacking the year before. While the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15th was a traumatic event for everyone in New England, nobody on the Revs was more affected by it than Matt Reis, who helped save the life of his father-in-law in the aftermath of the attacks. On the field, results didn’t come immediately as they only won two of their first eight matches. But the club would come together in the summer and put together points in the standings and wins in their last three games of the season helped the Revs make the playoffs for the first time in four years with a third-place record of 14-11-9. After coming away with a 2-1 win in the first leg against Sporting Kansas City, the Revs’ season would end in the second leg as SKC came back to beat them in extra time.
2014: Continuing momentum from a playoff berth, the Revs went on a five-game winning streak that brought them to the top of the East. But then they struggled badly, losing eight in a row in the summer, and they needed a spark to get them back on track. That would come in the form of a lottery-drawing win for US veteran Jermaine Jones whose goal against Portugal in the World Cup raised his profile. Jones would be just the piece the Revs needed as they went on a torrid 9-1-1 run to end the year in second place at 17-13-4. The club didn’t stop there as they ran all over the Columbus Crew 7-3 on aggregate, easily moving onto the next round. Against the New York Red Bulls in the East Final, the Revs beat them in the first match 2-1 and rode two Charlie Davies goals in the second match while holding off a Red Bulls charge to punch their ticket to their first MLS Cup in seven years.
2014 MLS Cup: History has a bizarre way of repeating itself, and the Revs were to discover this in their fifth attempt at their first championship. Against the LA Galaxy for the third time in MLS Cup, the Revolution were underdogs as the teams did battle at StubHub Center in California. After a scoreless first half, the Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes scored in the 52nd minute to put the home team ahead. Undeterred, the Revs pressed forward until Chris Tierney scored to even the score in the 79th minute. A couple of minutes after, Teal Bunbury took a shot that nailed the crossbar, and the match headed to extra time. Robbie Keane’s breakaway shot snuck past Bobby Shuttleworth and into the net at the 111th minute to seal the deal for the home team, and the visitors once again went home with an empty result.
2015: Coming off another unsuccessful MLS Cup appearance, the Revolution brought back much of the players that got them there, including Jermaine Jones, for another shot. Five wins in their first nine matches brought early hope that they could get it done. But they would once again slog through the summer as a 1-7-4 stretch threatened to derail the club. A six-match winning streak had the Revs in prime position to take command of the East before a poorly timed four-match winless streak gave the team in fifth place record of 14-12-8. Against DC United on the road, Juan Agudelo’s bicycle kick goal gave the Revs an early lead, but Chris Pontius’ goal leveled the scoring. An 83rd-minute score from Chris Rolfe proved to be the winner as the Revs were unable to equalize. Compounding their tough end to the year was a blood rush to the head by Jermaine Jones, sprinting to grab the arm of the referee in disbelief after DC’s Sean Franklin’s apparent handball in the penalty area was not called, earning himself a six-match ban.
2016: After trading Jermaine Jones to Colorado, the season started slowly as usual for the Revs. A nine-game stretch littered with seven ties and one win did not help the club build a foundation in the upper half of the standings. The acquisition of Kei Kamara in May was of little help for the club as they struggled to keep up the pace. The Revs also traded Charlie Davies to Philadelphia midseason for personal reasons. After slogging through a hot summer, a three-game winning streak brought some hope to their playoff push. But a very costly loss to Chicago in the season’s penultimate game effectively drained the Revs’ playoff aspirations as they concluded the season in seventh place at 11-14-9, losing out to Philadelphia on a tiebreaking goal difference.
2017: The Revs would have a tough time gaining any traction early on, winning only two of their first ten matches as their inability to win away from Gillette Stadium became well documented. A four-match losing streak in June and July sunk the club even further, and the final straw came in two games in September against Atlanta and Orlando, where they lost 7-0 and 6-1 respectively and additionally had three players sent off via VAR. This would cost Jay Heaps his job, and the Revs finished seventh at 13-15-6.
2018: A new chapter for the Revs under former US goalkeeper Brad Friedel seemed to get off to a decent start as they began the year on a 4-2-2 stretch. New additions from the offseason, such as Cristian Penilla and Luis Caicedo, did their best to improve the team’s positioning in the standings. Despite the respectable start, the Revs began to head back down the standings as their atrocious defense from the year before wasn’t fully cleaned up. A summer span of one win in eleven games put the team in too big a hole to climb out of as they wound up in eighth place at 10-13-11.
2019: Maintaining a downtrodden theme from the year before, the Revs slumped out of the gate with eight losses in their first twelve matches, and things looked hopeless. Brad Friedel would be dismissed as manager in mid-May, replaced by Bruce Arena. The move would send the Revs on a spending spree, bringing in Gustavo Bou and Cristian Penilla to send the club on an eleven-game unbeaten run to send them from bottom-feeders to playoff contenders. After losing only two more games after mid-August, the Revs claimed their first playoff spot in four years with the last slot in the East at 11-11-12. That’s where their in-season turnaround would conclude as they were shutout in their first playoff game at Atlanta United FC, 1-0.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Stephen Mulvoy, all information, and team names are property of Major League Soccer. This site is not affiliated with the New England Revolution or the MLS. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 14, 2004. Last updated on July 29, 2020, at 11:15 pm ET.